Global Warming... Calling for an Urgent and Ethical Response

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By Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican

In recent times, Pope Benedict XV1 called for a worldwide change of mentality regarding the environment. He said "If we do not act quickly and modify the way we treat the planet, humanity could risk extinction. All governments must commit to protecting nature and helping it fulfill its essential role for the survival of humanity. We need to rethink totally our approach toward nature. It is not just a playground or a space to be exploited. We need precise and sustainable solutions to help humanity live its covenant."


"Global warming is the current rise in the average temperature of Earth’s oceans and atmosphere and its projected continuum. The scientific consensus is that global warming is occurring and was initiated by human activities, especially those that increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as deforestation and burning of fossil fuels" Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2/3)

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide accumulate in the atmosphere. Use of fossil fuels is the main source of greenhouse gases, as well as driving cars or trucks and other vehicles. The rise in the temperature of earth’s resources and atmosphere and ongoing human activities are creating excess greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and result in global warming. We cannot deny the seriousness of the issue when we see what has happened in the US in the past year and also in other parts of the world. The natural disasters experienced by many should be a wake-up call for all of us and find new and effective ways to stop the problem. We need a new consciousness to change our ways and avoid the mindless emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere. It affects all people around the globe, and especially the poorest and most vulnerable.


Today many faith groups and social service organizations are exploring this question. Here are some of their suggestions:
  • Educate the members about the importance of the issue and invite all to take responsibility for changing the situation. Each person has a part to play and no effort is too small to make a difference. Children and youth should be included to show them how to be good stewards of God’s creation.
  • Invite all to take a look at their lifestyles and adopt a more responsible way of life.
  • Educate the members, including children and youth to show how global is a moral issue.
  • Speak publicly about the importance of the issue that affects so many lives.
  • Urge legislators and the President to address the issue before it is too late.
  • Create alternative forms of clean energy – such as wind turbines, solar power, bio-mass and geothermal.
  • Look into eco-friendly meals, e-bulletins and eco-friendly dishes to replace all the paper goods used and reduce garbage. Use recycled and recyclable kitchenware.
  • Grow and use greener foods, plant community gardens, and support local urban farming for healthy, fresh and sustainable food sources.
  • Join other groups across faith traditions and share new ideas and practices.
  • Develop a more responsible lifestyle in everyday life. Share ideas and ways to put it into practice. Find ways to reduce energy use for heating, cooling, light bulbs used, driving habits, and the products used daily.
  • Plant a tree or other plants that absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.
  • Make buildings energy efficient and sustainable.

All are called to responsible stewardship and all can contribute to the solutions to the problem. It will take courage to face the facts about global warming and do something about them. All must get involved with study, planning and action.

Some religious communities have started programs to educate their members and the public about environmental issues. The Racine Dominicans have such a program called the Racine Dominican Eco-Justice Center. It is dedicated to environmental education, and care of the Earth in the context of community, contemplation, creativity and cultivation.

Justice Preaching Archive

Just click on a title below to read the article.
- The latest titles are listed first. -

• Justice Bulletin Board •
• A New Year •
• Two Essays on Peace •
• A Call To Respect and Welcome Diversity - A Challenge of Our Faith •
• Addressing White Power and Priviledge •
• An Ethical Reflection on Work... •
• A Re-energized Catholic Church •
• A Renewed Call for Nuclear Disarmament •
• Called to Proclaim and Live With Moral Courage •
• Called To Protect the Poor In Our Economic System •
• Call To Persevere In Praying and Working for Peace •
• Care For the Environment •
• Care for the Earth •
• Caritas in Veritate •
• The Challenge of Discipleship •
• Comprehensive Immigration Reform •
• The Death Penalty Revisited •
• What Is Ecological Economics •
• Eliminating Global Poverty •
• Global Warming... Calling for an Urgent and Ethical Response •
• God's Fool •
• Green Congretations - A Growing Movement •
• More Gun Control •
• Healing the Racial Divide •
• Speaking the Truth in Today's World Takes Courage •
• Justice and Compassion •
• Labor Issues and the Catholic Church •
• Is More Consumer Spending the Answer? •
• Moving from A Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace •
• Preaching Justice & Moving from Violence to Peace •
• Reaching For the Stars - Brenda Walsh •
• A Call To Reduce Prison Population •
• The Relationship Between Labor And the Catholic Church •
• Sermon On Domestic Violence •
• Sustainability •
• The Death Penalty •
• The New Economy Movement •
• The Role of Ethical Standards... •
• War Is Not the Answer •
• Witnesses To Hope •

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